Proving or Improving: On Health Care Research as a Form of Self-Reflection

A.M. Mol

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

    97 Citations (Scopus)
    340 Downloads (Pure)


    As it is, clinical trials are the gold standard of health care research, employed to prove that the care practices they study are good. Here, the author suggests that we would do better to develop research methods that work toward another goal: to improve care practices. This requires that we no longer foreground the effectiveness but, instead, investigate the various effects of interventions. If undesirable, they might then be tinkered with. As a part of this, the effects on bodily parameters and on the intricacies of daily lives should not be separated out but studied in connection. With examples drawn from studies into care practices for patients with diabetes or atherosclerosis, the author argues that instead of trying to turn the clinic into a laboratory, we should strive to support and strengthen clinical ways of working.
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)405-414
    JournalQualitative health research
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


    • research methods
    • Quality of care
    • Atherosclerosis
    • disease/illness diabetes
    • IR-57658

    Cite this